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Giants offense anemic without Bonds

4/14/2004

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds wasn't going to get a chance to
win this game -- Milwaukee manager Ned Yost made sure of it.

Bonds took most of the day off after hitting his 661st homer,
but the San Francisco slugger did pinch hit in the Giants' 3-0 loss
to the Brewers on Wednesday.

What did he get?

An intentional walk.

"The situation dictated it," said Yost, who wasn't surprised
to see Bonds make an appearance. "We weren't going to pitch to him
today no matter what. I tried to go over every scenario. The only
one we'd pitch to him was if the bases were loaded and the tying
run was on third."

Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins provided the lone longball, helping
the Brewers avoid a three-game sweep.

Wes Obermueller allowed three hits in 6 2-3 innings. He also
contributed an RBI single and a sacrifice bunt for the Brewers, who
stopped a three-game losing streak.

Jeff Bennett and Dan Kolb completed the club's first shutout
since Aug. 31 at the Chicago Cubs. Kolb was perfect for his third
save in three chances.

Obermueller (1-1) retired his first 11 hitters, then gave up
back-to-back singles in the fourth before calmly getting nine
straight outs.

"He was on the attack from the first pitch," Yost said.

San Francisco's lineup, missing several regulars, lacked oomph
without its star slugger, who passed godfather Willie Mays for
third place on the career homers list Tuesday.

"It's less stress knowing he's not in there," Obermueller
said. "Although you do want to test yourself against the best."

Obermueller, pitching against the Giants for the first time,
walked A.J. Pierzynski with two outs in the seventh, then allowed a
bloop single to Michael Tucker before giving way to Bennett.

Fans began chanting, "Barry! Barry!" and manager Felipe Alou
obliged. No. 25 marched out of the dugout to a standing ovation.

He was intentionally walked to load the bases, bringing up
pinch-hitter Edgardo Alfonzo, who flied out to center, ending the
threat.

Bennett didn't feel any relief with Bonds aboard on a walk.

"There's still another hitter coming up after him," the
pitcher said. "I knew regardless of the situation I'd have to make
a good pitch because Bonds hits mistakes."

The 39-year-old Bonds trails only Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth
(714) on the career list.

The names on the home-run list along the right-field wall will
still include Mays. The sign reads: Aaron 755, Ruth 714 and Mays
660. Bonds is above them on the brick area just beneath the seats.
Each name has a small number in the upper left corner, such as a 4
by Mays signifying where he ranks on the career list.

Dustan Mohr was in the batter's box when Yost came out to change
pitchers.

"Then I saw Barry come out of the dugout. I figured he wasn't
coming out there to give me advice," Mohr said. "I guess third
base was open."

Jenkins connected in the second inning against Brian Cooper
(0-1) for his first home run of the season.

"I certainly knew it was going to come," said Jenkins,
typically a fast starter on homers. "It was just one of those
things it took a few games."

Cooper struggled early, giving up the homer and an RBI single to
Gary Bennett in the second, then settled down to retire his final
14 batters. He allowed four runs and two hits in six innings.

It was his Giants' debut and marked his first big league start
and appearance since April 12, 2002, for Toronto. He found out he'd
be pitching at 4 p.m. Tuesday while in Yuma, Ariz.

And the Giants plan to keep him around for now, even with ace
Jason Schmidt scheduled to be activated to start Friday against the
Dodgers.

"With Schmitty coming off the DL, I thought I'd get my walking
papers today," Cooper said. "Coming into a team as a free agent,
just any kind of a look is something to get excited with, and I've
got a real good look."

Game notes
The Giants have an off day Thursday before their weekend
series against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Schmidt is to
make his first start of the season Friday. He has been bothered by
shoulder soreness, but Alou hopes he'll go five or six innings.
"For everybody on the staff to the pitchers, we feel more relaxed
with him -- knowing he's going to be there every five days," Alou
said. ... To make room for Cooper, who was brought up from the
minors before the game, OF Tony Torcato was optioned to Triple-A
Fresno. ... Obermueller was the loser in the Brewers' home opener,
13-7 to Houston.